What is SSN? Regardless of individual talent and prior experience, medical school can at times be overwhelming for anyone. SSN offers services to help make first-year students’ adjustment to medical school a smooth one. SSN promotes a sense of teamwork and efficient learning through small-group review sessions facilitated by second-year students in the Fall and fourth-year students in the Spring. These review sessions cover the important and difficult concepts you’ll need to know for exams. To supplement them, we also provide review sheets and practice questions, highlighting the important points of each lecture. Fundamental to our philosophy is putting into action the tenet of learning from (and thus teaching) your colleagues. It’s a fun way to learn. We encourage all first-year students to come see if our review sessions can help you!
When are review sessions? Review sessions will take place within the week preceding the exam it covers. Exact dates will be posted on the SSN website in CourseWorks by the end of August. Review sheets will be uploaded to CourseWorks a few days before the review session.
Do you have any advice for buying textbooks at this point? Textbooks are not required and are really a matter of learning style and preference - it's useful to experiment with them, and with ways of using them, to see if they are right for you. Test questions are largely based on lecture slides and small groups. Textbooks can be very useful for students as a secondary resource for difficult material covered in lecture. Most students find it best to mix up the presentation of course material by using SSN study sheets, web resources, and—you guessed it—textbooks to help supplement lecture slides. But you won‘t want to purchase every textbook recommended. To help navigate this textbook uncertainty, SSN has surveyed the class of 2014 about which resources, including textbooks, they found most useful. The results of this survey are uploaded in CourseWorks. The Center for Education Research and Evaluation surveyed the Class of 2015 and their results are in our CourseWorks site as well. You will be notified if this information is further updated.
What is this CourseWorks you speak of? CourseWorks is Columbia’s online course management system to coordinate files, calendars, and other information. You’ll become very familiar with it very quickly, and we’ll briefly introduce it to you during Orientation. (You'll have access beginning in August).